Do you have a carry-on suitcase you love? I’ve spent hours researching the perfect bag: reading posts by seasoned travelers, watching You Tube videos about luggage, obsessing over the latest collaboration. Nothing ever seems just right for me.
So here’s the plan I’ve settled on as a frequent traveler and educated consumer:
Buy a bag with a single compartment.
It doesn’t have to charge your phone, or have a locking compartment for your valuables, or a place for your suit. Find a carry-on sized suitcase on sale, and then check for:
– Zippers with sturdy pulls that slide easily,
– Wheels that seem sturdy and roll smoothly.
– Handles or something baggage handlers can grab quickly on three sides.
And then buy the sucker. What makes the bag useful is how you pack it. Buying internal compartments separately, and assuming you’ll need to replace the exterior bag every few years, makes good sense.
Here’s how I subdivide a typical carryon:
– Two large packing cubes filled with rolled clothing. We have a different color set for each family member.
– One small packing cube for underwear, socks, PJs, and accessories like scarves.
– A rectangular dopp kitt.
– Shoe bags for my shoes (or you can put disposable shower caps over them)
I also pack three empty bags:
– A checkable duffle for purchases.
– A large mesh laundry bag for dirty clothes.
– A small mesh lingerie bag for packing wet swimsuits.
– A nylon travel purse.
If you buy an inexpensive, but sturdy bag, you won’t mind when it inevitably gets stained or scuffed because you were forced to gate check. You won’t be furious when you have to get wheels or zippers replaced because you paid too much to have the bag break so easily. You won’t suffer buyer’s remorse because one of the pockets isn’t the perfect size for your niche use. And you won’t attract attention to your blingy bag when ne’erdowells are looking on.
Buy a cheap, basic bag, and let each scuff feel as good as a passport stamp.